Sparkhayes Farm Camping Site
We visited Sparkhayes in July 2016, we went the first week of the children's summer holidays, we hadn’t visited that part of the Somerset before, we've been to Weston Super Mare and Brean and Burnham On Sea. We didn’t fancy Minehead, it's a little busy for us, I found Porlock on the map, I did some research online and discovered that it’s a coastal village that is very dog friendly. It’s also on the doorstep of Exmoor which I thought would be great for doing some walking. I could only find two campsites in the area (online) Sparkhayes and Burrowhayes we plumped for Sparkhayes because of it location right by the beautiful village and it was closer to the sea (you get a Seaview).
Sparkhayes is a traditional campsite (it’s not suitable for caravans due to access, so it’s tents and motorhomes only) and its very peaceful, we pre-booked because we wanted an electric pitch, however you can just arrive and pitch up, the owner Phil comes around the site and collects your fee’s the day before you leave or you can pay at the site office. The toilets and shower block are clean and included in the price, there is a kettle and microwave available in the dishwashing area, there is also a washing machine, tumble dryer and ice pack freezing available at an extra cost.
The site is clean and the grass is easy to pitch your tent on (no big rocks underground), it's main attraction is how quiet and peaceful it is and the scenic location with the sea and the hills surrounding you.
A little about Porlock and the surrounding area.
Porlock is a lovely dog friendly village and it’s picturesque, the village is hime to a few pubs that serve food, we went to the pub nearest to the campsite we enjoyed a pint of Guinness the children had a J2O and the dog enjoyed some water and some fuss from the people in the pub. There are also a few restaurants (one claiming to have award winning pies but we tried them one evening for dinner but we decided they were nothing special), a convenience store, a pet shop, art studio, hairdressers and a gift shop. Porlock is home to the famous Porlock Hill, Reputedly the steepest A-road in the country, it climbs 1,300 feet (400 m) in less than two miles (3.2 km), via a series of 1 in 4 hairpins, there is a run off area and you can often smell brakes cooking. We came down the hill when we returned from Watersmeet in Lynmouth, Watersmeet is another place of beauty that is managed by the National Trust, it's well worth a visit if ever your in the area.
Porlock Salt Marsh
Porlock Weir Beach
Porlock beach is pebble, very large pebbles (more like boulders) it is difficult to walk on and we witnessed an older gentleman fall (naturally we went over to see if the couple needed assistance) our dog wasn’t a fan either because the gaps between the pebbles caused her legs to catch in the pebbles. The walk from Porlock along the beach to Porlock Weir is pleasant passing along the salt marsh until you reach the beach, then just follow the beach you can get onto the road once you're so far along the beach via some steps the road doesn't have any pavement so you need to be vigilant but it is a welcome relief from pebbles. Porlock Weir is a small village with a medium sized pay and display car park it's home to a few nice restaurants and hotels it's got a few shops but no cash machines and some places do not accept card payments.We walked back to Porlock through Porlock Manor Estate it was a nice walk through the woods.
You can also walk to Bossington, along the beach, we went in the car, we parked on the National Trust carpark and enjoyed a lovely walk to the beach, in Bossington we found a lovely Tea Room Kitnors it had a garden with an Alice in Wonderland theme, it was delightful, I’m a fan of Alice in Wonderland. The reason we drove to Bossington was because we were going to visit Exmoor National Park a place called Horner Wood, we wanted to find the General an Oak tree over 500 years old. Horner Wood is looked after by the National Trust, so the parking is free for members. After our walk we enjoyed a Cream Tea well Coffee at Horner Tea Gardens which was a welcome refreshment after a long walk on a sunny day at the end of July.
Garden at Kitnors
A little note for people wanting a holiday with a beach and sea to either paddle or swim in. The sea at Porlock, Porlock Weir and Bossington is not suitable for swimming in, the currents are extremely strong and there is no lifeguard available.